U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) notified the public that it intends to conduct a test to collect biometric and biographic information from certain foreign travelers who are departing the United States on selected flights from up to ten identified U.S. airports.
The Biometric Exit Mobile Air Test or “BE-Mobile Air Test” will be conducted at the identified airports on randomly pre-selected outbound international flights. Using an wireless hand-held device, CBP will collect biographic data from departing foreign nationals, who are covered by the test, by swiping, or inputting the information from, the foreign national’s travel document. The data collected will be stored in a CBP biographic database. CBP will also capture two (2) fingerprints from the foreign traveler and verify them against the traveler’s biometric identity record. Once the verification and departure inspection is complete, the DHS biometric database and the CBP biometric database will be updated with the verification results in real time.
“The primary mission of any biometric exit program is to provide assurance of traveler identity on departure, giving CBP the opportunity to match the departure with a prior arrival record. This capability enhances the integrity of the immigration system and the ability to accurately detect travelers that have overstayed their lawful period of admission to the United States.”
The BE-Mobile Air Test program does not apply to U.S citizens. It only applies to foreign nationals who are departing the United States on selected international flights at one of the selected airports. Foreign nationals who are in the following status at the time of departure are exempt from the program:
- Canadian citizens who under section 101(a)(15)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act are not otherwise required to present a visa or have been issued Form I-94 (see § 1.4) or Form 1-95 upon arrival at the United States;
- Aliens admitted on A-1, A-2, C-3 (except for attendants, servants, or personal employees of accredited officials), G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4, NATO-1, NATO-2, NATO-3, NATO-4, NATO-5, or NATO-6 visas, and certain Taiwan officials who hold E-1 visas and members of their immediate families who hold E-1 visas who are maintaining such status at time of departure, unless the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Homeland Security jointly determine that a class of such aliens should be subject to this notice;
- Children under the age of 14;
- Persons over the age of 79;
- Classes of aliens the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of State jointly determine shall be exempt; or
- An individual alien whom the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Secretary of State, or the Director of Central Intelligence determines shall be exempt.
CBP will collect biographic information and fingerprint data from select non-exempt aliens departing on selected international flights from the identified airports for a period of approximately one year from July 2015 to June 2016.
The BE-Mobile Air Test will begin at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and will expand to the following cities this coming fall:
- Los Angeles
- New York
- San Francisco